YouTube Video Download / Remove WebWebWeb

YouTube has been updating their site almost a lot these days. Recently, all the video downloader add-ons that I have over at Chrome and Firefox has stopped working due to the supposed YouTube “policy.”

I respect copyright and all that, but sometimes, you just need to grab a video for your own, personal entertainment which you’d like to bring anywhere. It’s not like I’m grabbing videos to gain from it monetarily, or even socially for that matter. I just like to keep a copy of fun things with me whenever I need to get cheered up.

So if you’re like me who goes on YouTube looking for entertainment and end up wanting to have that video on your mobile so you don’t load them off of the 3G all the time, here’s an add-on for Firefox (and I think it’s also available on Chrome) that would really help you download those most wanted videos!

Video Downloader Professional. Works like a charm.

Oh, and you might find yourself having to deal with a second-rate, trying hard, Google-powered search engine called WebWebWeb which would change your browser’s default search engine, so I’ll add here a few quick steps on how to revert it back to trusted Google:

(Firefox)

1) Right-click on the title bar and select ‘Customize’

2) Drag the search box bar off to your toolbar (preferably right beside the tabs)

3) Click on the search engine icon which should show a dropdown menu

4) Click ‘Manage Search Engines’

5) Select ‘WebWebWeb’ and click on ‘Remove’

6) Make sure Google is at the top by selecting ‘Google’ and hitting ‘Move up’ until it’s at the top. Or if you prefer another engine, you may do so.

7) Click OK

8) You may want to drag back the search box bar back to the ‘Customize’ toolbar or you may just leave it there. Your choice.

I’ve received your thankses in advance so no need to tell me! Hehe. Cheers y’all! :)

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A Pre-review of The Dark Knight Rises (No Spoilers)

Everything ends here.

I call this one a “Pre-review” because I have friends who have not seen the movie yet, and I don’t want to spoil their movie experience. So I will just talk about the film’s premise, casting and why I love Christopher Nolan‘s trilogy in general. I will be writing my real movie review, discussing and dissecting the movie as I saw and experienced it, in another blog post after the whole craze and anticipation for this movie is over.

I have been keeping away from posting anything that pertains to movies or film reviews as I deem the topic too generic for blogs, but it is impossible not to write anything about The Dark Knight Rises [TDKR] because it is certainly breaking rules–at least my rules.

Let’s just say that if TDKR was a first movie (not a sequel) and that most people do not have any idea who Christopher Nolan is or what he is capable of, I’d say it will still be a major hit. And it will not be because of how most films would do it: a Hollywood A-lister protagonist, a handsome actor whom teen girls would be dreaming about or a hot chick who could kick some butts and give men a run for their money, but it will be because of its superb story, astounding message, amazing action scenes, great casting and incredible acting. Setting aside, of course, the fact that ‘Batman‘ is such a big franchise, a hit to comic readers and fanatics.

Plot Premise (no major spoilers)

In this sequel, you are forwarded eight years after the events that took place in The Dark Knight [TDK]. Most criminals are in jail and it has been a while since a crime syndicate rose up to power. Commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman reprises this role) is enduring a battle against himself for keeping the truth behind Harvey Dent (played by Aaron Eckhart in TDK) and his “fallen” end while Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) deals with the loss of Rachel Dawes (played by Katie Holmes and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Batman Begins [BB] and TDK, respectively).

Wayne Enterprises is now on the brink of a bankruptcy due to the fact that Bruce has not been managing the company well because of his personal grievances and has not been seen in public for the whole eight years and so is true with Batman since the death of Harvey Dent.

However, as a new enemy rises, Bruce is faced with the choice of whether to wear the mask once more or concede to the idea that he does not owe Gotham anymore. Alfred (played by Michael Caine), Bruce’s butler, opposes the thought of Bruce putting on the mask for the last time that it lead him to confess about Rachel’s letter in TDK, which he burned near the end of that movie. It contained Rachel’s last message, telling Bruce that she is choosing a life with Dent instead.

Resolution

What really got me hooked in this 21st century Batman film franchise craze is how they were all approached the way you would a film about a masked vigilante running around to put criminals behind bars, dealing with psychopathic enemies and protesting law enforcers. Only, you do this with cool gadgetry and awesome rides, an upscale conflict, an in-depth characterization and, of course, a cape. It’s amazing how the villains in this trilogy like the Scarecrow, Ra’s al Ghul, the Joker, Two-Face, Bane and Catwoman were all treated like how common criminals are: lunatic, deranged, troubled, fallen and living in the edge of their own despair and insanity. They are not some bunch of circus stars who cover themselves up in colorful and weird costumes, make-up, or masks just for the sake of being a villain and making a show. (No offense to the previous Batman films or circus talents; I love Tim Burton but Nolan took this franchise up for a hundred leagues over.)

And the way the trilogy justifies the actions of these antagonists, as opposed to just wanting to make a mess of the city, is something that is really important to me. Although I know that some psychopaths simply do the crazy stuff they do because they enjoy the aftereffects of their actions, I still like to believe that there’s a deeper reason or purpose that drives these people to accomplish such feats.

And this is exactly what we get from Nolan’s treatment of the franchise. We see an underlying concept that questions our beliefs and understanding of how our modern day society works. It asks us to re-evaluate how we perceive the structure that is our government, our leaders who holds the power and authority, and our society that created the ladder in the social strata. Where does justice lie if the unjust judges? When does the truth hold if the corrupt rule? And how does equality persist if the hierarchy is prevalent? Is the system rotten? If so, can the system change or do we just accept it for what it is? If we can change it, how should we do so? Do we toss everything to tip the balance or do we follow the structure to change the whole system itself? Is there even a point to ask these questions and rethink the system?

But those stuff are just the things I have been musing about every time I catch a Batman movie. Maybe you relate to it differently, or maybe you relate just the same as I do. I guess it’s hard to talk more about it without spoiling too much, so I will save the rest ’til I’m sure most of my friends have seen it. Until then, I close my thoughts on this one.

Casting

As great as the story is, TDKR also did not fail when it comes to the casting. I couldn’t think of a better ensemble cast than the ones we are given in this film. Anne Hathaway is simply the perfect choice for Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman. And to see actors from Nolan’s another smashing film, Inception, is also a big treat for me as I have this weird need to be familiar with actors. There is Marion Cotillard (as Miranda Tate, a member of the Wayne Enterprises executive board who supports Bruce’s philanthropic work), who by the way portrays a role so far from the one she did in Inception, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (as a hot-headed cop), Tom Hardy (as Bane, a League of Shadows ex-member) and Cillian Murphy (doing a cameo, reprising his role from BB as Scarecrow). It’s sad that Ken Watanabe (who also appeared in the first movie) couldn’t just pop out from somewhere and this would really be a reunion of some sort!

Another cameo appearance who is also returning from the first movie is Liam Neeson (as Ra’s al Ghul), whom I’ve been a fan of since forever. Morgan Freeman also returns as Lucius Fox, who runs Wayne Enterprises in behalf of Bruce. I can’t help but think what chaos it would’ve been should Heath Ledger‘s awesome portrayal of ‘the Joker’ made it too, God rest his soul.

Basically, Nolan poured everything in this last installment. I don’t get all the negative criticisms about it. Not that I care, but I think those people are way out of their minds to not see the masterpiece that Nolan has done on this one, and everyone should just appreciate that.

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My friend in a commercial

Hey guys!

Just logging in and posting quick to promote my friend! If you have time, please view her video as part of a commercial or promotional campaign of Dove.

Thanks!
Zim

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Food Adventure #3 – Shin Dang Dong Korean Restaurant

One of the best things when you’re such a lazy person as I am, is to have friends who knows a lot about stuff you are or have only been curious about because with that, they teach you just the things you need to know about it.

I have “girl” friends who are the biggest fans of K-POP (Korean Pop Music) bands, but among all of them, it’s gotta be Girls’ Generation and CNBlue that they are so crazy about. I sometimes tease them, acting as if I’m walking out on them, whenever they are starting on topics about these K-POP stuff that I seriously can’t relate to, and with which often leaves me out as an outcast.

But I gotta say, I appreciate their love for these bands, because if not for that, they wouldn’t have risked trying out on Korean dishes even if it was just so they would know how these people they love and go crazy about eat their food. Plus, the experience as well. And because of that, it kinda rubbed off on me as well.

So here’s my take on being Korean!

Shin Dang Dong Korean Restaurant

Before I go on, you’re gonna have to excuse my photos. I forgot to bring my camera as I hate bringing bag whenever I go out, and I don’t really like having my hands full. Teehee! So I had to do away with my phone camera with a few editing from Instagram.

So, the first thing you have to know is that Korean food is considered an “oriental” cuisine. Oriental cuisines are majorly those that originates from Japan, Korea, China and some parts of Southeast Asia like Vietnam and Thailand. Filipino food is generally not considered “oriental” apart from the ones that we’ve borrowed from our Chinese heritage like “noodley” and “soupy” dishes. Spices play an important role as well. I hope I made a good explanation regarding that, or I’d be dead when my chef friend reads this! (Shoutout: Conan!)

I took a photo before they cooked it!

Beef Teokbokki (Before Cooking)

Cooked and ready to be devoured!

Beef Teokbokki (Cooked)

Anyway, we tried this dish they call Beef Teokbokki which is supposedly their Spicy Seasoned Rice Cake specialty dish. Basically, it’s beef and Chinese noodles cooked with rice cake, steamed egg, ramyun and an assortment of vegetables like carrots and cabbage in a hot-pepper sauce. We also added cheese as an add-on. There are other add-ons that you can get, depending on what else you want to go with it. The amazing part of it is that the staff will cook the dish right in front of you using this small, canister-gased stove. And you also have the option to choose how spicy you would like it to be. I think we opted for a medium spice.

I gotta tell you, this is really a must-try! You can really taste how the cheese went well with everything else. Every bite was just as pleasing as it looked like. They also served us a seaweed soup, kimchi and a litre of Iced Tea for the order of Beef Teokbokki.

BonChon, step aside!

Boneless Chicken in Sweet & Spicy Ginger Sauce

Another dish we got was the Boneless Chicken cooked in Sweet & Spicy Ginger Sauce which is just as good. It’s unlike other spicy chicken I’ve ever had. You can forget about Bon Chon Chicken for awhile because of this!

Korean-style Halo-Halo!

Pat Ping Su

After all of those, we ordered a bowl of Pat Ping Su. It’s like the Korean version of our Halo-halo, prepared with corn flakes, watermelon, large scoops of ice cream (you can choose between strawberry, mocha or chocolate), red beans, fruit cocktail and rice cakes! I have always loved ice cream prepared with cereals since I was in Los Banos in Laguna! (Shoutout: Kevin, remember Blitz Wave?)

Ambiance-wise, Shin Dang Dong is small yet cozy. I think the small size of the place helps well with the comfort that you get out of the experience, because there aren’t too many people waiting for their turn, given that we were there on a Saturday. Plus, being located in A. Venue Mall was also a plus because it is very near all the other gig place in Makati, if you’re still craving for a night of amusement after dining here.

Really cool!

Wall Photos

They also have this wall of photos of their customers. We didn’t opt to have our pictures taken since I’m camera shy… or so I thought! Haha. So don’t miss it and try it here! You could chance upon some Korean as well! :)

Thanks to Ate Raj for the additional photos! ;)

My Ratings

Minimum Budget: Php 200.00
Am I gonna go back?

  • Definitely, I can eat here forever!
  • Yeah, I’m now a fan!
  • Yes, but not anytime soon.
  • Maybe, if someone treats me here!
  • No, I won’t ever be photographed here!

Shin Dang Dong Korean Restaurant

Photo from OpenRice.com

Shin Dang Dong Korean Restaurant

G/F A. Venue Mall
7829 Makati Avenue
Makati City, Metro Manila
Philippines
+632 728 0506

ClickTheCity.com link
MunchPunch.com link
OpenRice.com link

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6 Things To Remember When You Travel

Enjoy the sights as you travel, if you can.

Philippines’ most popular way to travel is by taking the bus.

At the start of the month, my friends and I went out of town to enjoy the remaining days of summer. We hadn’t had time to go to the beach like most people do because our jobs does not permit us to do so, but hey, that’s not to say we should let the heat season pass without doing something out of the ordinary. So, to make up for everything we have not been able to do during the “vacation” season, we decided to go to the Philippines’ Summer Capital: Baguio City.

However, I will have to talk about our little adventure in the coldest place in this part of the world some other time. In this post, I will be talking about the things I learned when travelling, the whats and what-nots. Pay attention people, ‘coz these few basic tips might just save your lives!

1. Make early travel and accommodation reservations to avoid delays.

What? No ride back home?!

Always make travel plans. You’ll never know what “delays” could be lurking somewhere.

We had reserved our bus tickets the morning of our departure from the metro, and we decided to do the same for our tickets on our way back home. I was surprised that there are still a lot of people who doesn’t make early reservations, to the point that I think they don’t even plan their trips ahead. The queue for the “chance passengers” on our way home was so long, even at 2am in the morning. I just couldn’t imagine myself lining up that long for a possibility of a ride that might not even come. So, kids, plan ahead! It doesn’t hurt to be safe; you don’t lose anything and you don’t pay extra. The comfort of not having to think about anything on your way back home surpass the amount of extra time you have to spend in making these preparations, so you might as well do it.

2. Do not buy at the nearest gift shop from the terminal.

Don't forget to buy gifts!

The best way to share your travel experiences is through gifts or “pasalubong.”

The biggest mistake that I have made in this trip is that I was so eager to get the stuff I came to Baguio for. I’ve always wanted to buy either a beanie or square scarf and I was looking forward to get to the market upon arrival to finally get my hands on one of these. However, upon arriving in Baguio, we passed by a gift shop at the bus station’s second floor, and they had these amazing scarves that I specifically wanted.

The price was okay on my terms, so, thinking it would save me some time from having to go around a probably busy market, I bought the scarf without further thought. Soon enough, I found out I could’ve bought three of those scarves for the amount I paid and, your guess is right, I was darn pissed off.

The only time I could suggest that you consider this is when you’re a few hours from leaving and you haven’t gotten the stuff you need to bring home for yourself or for someone else. Know, however, that you might have to spend a little more.

3. Be sure to have at least one camera with your group.

Everybody's a photographer!

Grab that camera and snap, snap!

I know it’s all about the experience, but what is experience if you can’t relive them afterwards? One of our more likable qualities as human beings is our desire to document or record a vital piece of our time and age to be part of history. And as one human being to another, I am urging you to never forget your cameras when you go backpacking.

In this digital age, cameras are becoming smaller by the minute. Okay, probably not, but I say this ‘coz I find no other reason why you wouldn’t grab that camera by your table and pack it with rest of your stuff in your bag. And try to separate your phone from your camera. No phone camera can ever have decent settings and usability as that of a real camera. If you can bring a SLR camera, then do so, just make sure it has video capabilities as well. You’ll never know when a memorable experience is worth capturing on video than on photos.

I would most certainly not bring a SLR camera, however, because as a hobbyist myself, I tend to focus more on getting great shots than actually enjoying the experience with my friends. Unless of course of you came there specifically to get those shots. I just feel like I’m compelled to go on a “hobbyist” mode if I’m holding a SLR camera, but to each his own. (DeviantArt + Flickr)

4. Be prepared to try something new: food and adventure.

Exotic? I say that's even better!

Streetfood is the best way to learn a place’s local cuisine.

The most appalling thing you can do when you travel is if you stick to your comfort stuff or to things that you always get or have on normal occasions. What are you doing eating McDonald’s when the place boasts of their local culinary trademarks that you won’t be able to experience elsewhere? Do not be afraid to try something new, even if it means having to go through a street food delicacy that everyone else seems to tell you that it’s a must-try! Exotic? I say that’s even better!

Just remember that all vacation and travel ends, so the best time to try these new stuff out is when you’re finally there in the place. Think of the stories you can share from these experiences to your friends, family or even your future kids. Count it as part of learning the place’s culture and what-nots, and there’s no better teacher than experience itself.

5. Understand that you might have to spend a little more than usual.

Stingy? Don't be.

Charge it to experience.

This goes along with the previous item. Often than not, new stuff would cost more than the ordinary things you get everyday. There’s a popular saying that I can relate with this one, and it goes something like “charge it to experience.” Don’t mull over the amount you could be spending, so long as you’re going to experience something new. Liking it or enjoying it is out of the question too, because for all I know, you can use it to ward off friends who could be trying out the same thing. But that doesn’t mean you should be spending on stuff that you know for yourself that you wouldn’t enjoy, or adventures that are overly pricey. You should of course choose the things you will be spending on, because in the end, that’s still you’re hard-earned cash.

6. Enjoy your time, forget about work for a little while.

Give yourself a break!

Give yourself a break! Relax and enjoy!

There’s nothing more irritating than hanging out with someone whose head is not into the fun you both should be enjoying at that very instant. If you go out with someone like this, hit him/her in the head hard so he/she can wake up. Kidding!

Look, I may not be able to speak for your friends, but I’ll say this anyway: I don’t care if you’re so involved in your work, but a time with your friends and/or family is becoming harder to get by in these busy times, so when you do get this chance, you should only have them to focus on. Remember, some people, if not everyone, hates having to beg or compete for attention. The worst part would be if it’s work that they’re up against.

Just remember that you’re not only doing it for them, but for yourself as well. Give yourself a break! One whole week after another of non-stop work and you’d end up convincing yourself that you should be living in your office by now. Stretch those muscles and do something more delightful with your time. You’ll never know if this could be your last before another half-a-year’s worth of back pains, courtesy of your work, nonetheless.

So there you have it! A list of sort to aid you on your trip before this season ends! I hope you have a great time with your friends or family, and remember to let me know how that goes out for you! Have a great summer-ender everyone! :)

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The Fast Food Connection

Men with big bellies, an unpleasant sight

For the last few months, I have been “depressing” on the fact that I’m getting fatter by the day. You wouldn’t believe how unpleasant my belly looks like in terms of its proportion to the rest of my body. And I’m not overly vain to be ranting about how I look, and I do apologize if I’m making a big issue out of it, but I’m merely saying this for all the health reasons and benefits of being “fit,” so to speak.

So, also during the last few months, I’ve been uneasily limiting my rice intake in all my meals, that is to say, I only eat one (1) cup in every meal. I’ve also made it a point that the frappes I get from Starbucks are prepared with non-fat milk and are always without whipped cream, even though I’m convinced that I should drop the whole frappe thing altogether. I skip some, not all, dinners as part of my so-called “diet,” though I fully understand that it’s unhealthy to do so.

Basically, I’m a walking and talking bit of health contradictions. Don’t freak out just yet, though, ‘coz I’m no longer skipping meals. I’ve also been “planning” on taking up marathon events as part of a healthy lifestyle even though I seem to always distract myself every time I try to hit the indoor cycle exercise machine at home. Amidst all those efforts, however, the past few days have proven to be crucial because another bad habit has crept in; and it just seem like I won’t be giving this one up anytime soon, no thanks to good ol’ fast food.

Jollibee

Jollibee is a fast food here in the Philippines and is a very popular one too. Think of it like McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC or Chuck E. Cheese; but unlike these fast food chains, it adheres more to the Filipino taste buds; meaning, more on sweet. I’m going nowhere near my point, but basically, what I’m saying is that our spaghetti here is usually sweet, and that is what Jollibee serve as compared to McDonald’s having a more American taste.

I’ve been craving so bad for the Filipino Spaghetti quite recently that I have now become a regular fast food diner of Jollibee. I partially blame it on the fact that since my brother taught my mum how to cook an Italian-style spaghetti, it has become our usual pasta dish in every holiday or celebrations that we never get to prepare the one that I was used to having when I was still a kid. No thanks, Italian-style!

Jollibee’s 1-piece Chicken with Spaghetti meal

And so, my favorite order in Jollibee is their 1-piece Chicken with Spaghetti meal, toppled with their new Coffee Float and an extra rice. It has since become my comfort food, or so to speak. I’m just glad that I get to be happy whenever I order one. The downer is, I don’t seem to mind the fact that it’s ruining my efforts to tone down that belly and I end up regretting it later when I’ve stuffed myself with every bite. Truly, not everything that tastes or feels good ends up in happy endings; sometimes, they’re just a disaster that starts out sweet.

P.S. So much for vowing to stay away from fast foods for the time being so that I can spend more on “real” food. Psh.

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Download YouTube Videos – 2012 Edition

Videos in YouTube are now split into several parts. That is to say, every part is approximately 1.70mb in file except of course, the last one which is a little bit smaller. So a 4mb video file will be split into 3 parts, the first two having 1.70mb in size and the third and last one with 0.6mb.

If you’re like me, who downloads videos on YouTube for the benefit of being able to play them on loop without consuming bandwidth or when you go offline, this move puts restrictions than enhancement. Suddenly, Orbit won’t do you justice.

Thank goodness there is now a browser add-on for both Firefox and Google Chrome that works like magic, so head-on and install this add-on:

Firefox: Easy YouTube Video Downloader
Google Chrome: Easy YouTube Video Downloader

Put it to good use people! Don’t troll around the internet! ;)

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Food Adventure #2 – Kulinarya Kitchen

So, the other week, I was able to convince my friends to go and hang out in a place where we don’t usually go to. If you knew my friends, well, some of them, you’d know that they’re not the bunch who goes to somewhere far to do or have something that they can get somewhere near. I like that about them, you know, for practical reasons. But sometimes, going out of your way and doing something new opens up to bigger adventures and fun! And that’s exactly what we got, this time.

Kulinarya Kitchen

The great thing about this place is that it’s at the borderline of being a high-end restaurant, being in Power Plant Mall where it’s a bit too posh, yet it retains its casual dining motif. It has a great ambiance due to the well lit and well-interiored nature of the place that it almost made me think twice whether it was a good idea eating there. I mean, I know I said I wouldn’t let budget get in the way in my undertaking of trying out great places for the sheer love that I have of writing about it, but man, I don’t think I’m still prepared to spend too much. Thankfully, it’s a bit more affordable than the other high-end places in the metro, even if it’s in Rockwell Center.

Callos

So, me and my friends decided to get different stuff so we can try more things, but I only got to try a few of them. I decided to go and try their Callos. It’s a stew made from tripe in tomato sauce with mushroom and olive and is served with rice. It just so happen that I was actually on a bit of a “rice diet” since I’m not doing good with my tummy, but thankfully, my diet only limits me to one cup of rice a meal. :)

I liked my Callos. I loved the strong tomato taste on it plus it has mushrooms which I’m a big fan of. Although at some point, I think it could do with a little bit more character since the only thing there is the ox tripe. Probably a sausage or some thing, but that could just well be my preference, in the first place, Callos is a Spanish stew.

U.S. Top Blade Steak

We also got ourselves a “family” order of blade steak. Kulinarya’s blade steak is a 16oz U.S. top blade steak served with rustic mashed potato, buttered vegetables and red wine sauce. I think I enjoyed it better than the Callos to be honest. The caramelized red wine sauce was perfect for the absolutely amazing preparation of the beef. It’s a must try if you’ll eat there as a group!

We ordered some pizza, a friend had a quiche while one had a Caesar Salad, another an Eggs Benedict. Then there’s the Grilled Asian Salmon and Shrimp Gambas. It’s really amazing ‘coz we seemed to have a bit of everything. Perfect since their website states that they serve European and Asian dishes!

So, over-all, I had a great time with the selection that they have in Kulinarya. A great place to try for a family or a group.

My Ratings

Minimum Budget: Php 350.00
Am I gonna go back?

  • Definitely, I can eat here forever!
  • Yeah, I’m now a fan!
  • Yes, but not anytime soon.
  • Maybe, if someone treats me here!
  • No, I won’t ever be photographed here!

Kulinarya Kitchen

Kulinarya Kitchen

P1, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center
Makati City, Metro Manila
Philippines, 1200
+632 898 1738 / +632 898 1864

Website

ClickTheCity.com link
MunchPunch.com link
OpenRice.com link

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My Relationship With Music

No, I’m no musician. I wish I was but I only have lame to extraordinarily lame guitar skills, croaky vocals [if I even have any to begin with], and I absolutely have no foundation to any musical knowledge of sorts. That, however, does not stop me from appreciating different sorts of music. And sometimes, this appreciation of mine often leads to me being selfish and overly greedy about the music I like.

I’ve kind of developed this attitude where I listen only to underground acts and that the more popular a band or music gets, the more I tire away from listening to it. It’s often one of the things that some of my friends tease me about, but in my defense, I’ve seen lots of bands who, after getting the fame and recognition that I no doubt think they deserve, creates more music that ain’t closely at par with their previous work. I get disappointed and it just sucks how fame and money puts their music in the business of making more money and not making good music anymore.

I won’t deny that I used to feel pride when I discover a band that none of my friends know about, and then I won’t even share it to anyone but keep the knowledge of their existence to myself. I sometimes half-wished they won’t get so famous. Then, one time, this friend of mine who liked some band I used to think nobody that I know knew about, had hit me hard by telling me that I have got to give it to artists who do make it big making great music.

Of course! Who the hell makes music just for a few people to listen to? Not that they desire fame or anything, but these musicians are so passionate about their music, that they desire nothing else but to make people happy for what they write or compose. Some, if not all of them, desires to share their experiences through their music and writes about things that are dear to their hearts; break-ups, success, happiness, love, inspiration and all sorts of other stuff.

Music is not meant for a few people to keep and listen to, it’s meant for people to relate to so they may learn, be inspired, entertained, encouraged and understand that they are not alone; that somehow, somewhere out there in the expanse of this world, another soul have been through what they are going through. People need to know that people have survived the same ordeal that they are in, and so they shouldn’t quit their own battles and look forward to the day that they’re going to be victorious.

Music is a universal language, much like Mathematics is. Music in a still silence and solitude is like the light that erupts from a void of darkness. Heck, you will find music even in the deepest silence there is in this world: sadness.

Musicians hold the power to change the world, for better or for worse; and we as listeners and as fans, wield an even greater power of expanding such force to spread a great message in the world. Choose who/what you listen to, love what inspires you, and share what moves you that other people may experience the same understanding that comes to you. (Parang Word lang ni God! Haha.)

So, lesson learned: I’ll giveaway my iPod. Haha! Kidding! ;)

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First Of Many

One of the things you need to know about me is that I simply do not have any preference when it comes to food; meaning, I can pretty much eat anything served to me [but please don’t have me eat Okra]. I don’t crave for a lot of things except for stuff that my parents prepare the best, which are both rare to happen to me and for them to serve. I hardly complain when I’m out with friends and we’re deciding on where to dine, except when I’ve tried the place already and if my experience there sucked.

I, however, don’t like spending too much on food. I’m not stingy, it’s just that it always seem impractical to me to spend a lot on food and end up with me being full when I can pretty much get the same effect with cheaper food without of course sacrificing satisfaction and/or taste. Hence, I always end up taking my share of mouthful in — wait for it — McDonald’s! Haha.

But, in lieu of this blog and in my attempt to write something read-worthy, I decided to change all of that ordeal about me. From now on, I’m gonna be in control of my choices when it comes to places to have my stomach filled — or at least for most of the time — and I’m willing to spend a little bit more just so I can put some food reviews in this blog. I must warn you, however, that I’m not a food enthusiast and that I don’t know the first thing about culinary! I’m only writing this as a consumer who enjoys great food whenever I’m served one. So, am I credible? No, but bear with me. :P

My first victim: Pasto Italian Café & Dessert Bar

Pasto Italian Café & Dessert Bar

Pasto is located at the second floor of the Theatre Mall in Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan. The entrance to the restaurant is through an outdoor stairway at the side facing Promenade, right above Starbucks and Delifrance. Without giving any other hint, you’ll quickly know that this restaurant specializes in anything Italian like pizza, pasta and panini. We’re all aware of restaurants claiming to have ‘Italian’ elements imbued in either their menu or the inspiration for the whole place, but most of them comes short of what they claim to be.

This is not the case with Pasto, however, as I found myself to be enjoying my food of choice rather well. I ordered a plate of pasta (of course, my favorite has always been pasta) they call Pollo Cremoso [paw-yaw kre’moso] or Creamy Chicken. It’s penne cooked with chicken bits, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted mushrooms in a garlic-cream sauce.

Pollo Cremoso

The real twist to this dish, I think, is how the “sun-dried” tomato bits are prepared as it tastes sweet, kinda like caramelized. It dissolves the “tomatoey” taste out of it, but not so much. This sweet taste complements well with the cream’s mild, salty flavor and the mushroom’s smooth and peppery one. I’m not an expert but that’s the best I can come up with as to how it tasted to me. Heh.

Bianca (a pizza)

We (me and some friends) also ordered a pizza they call ‘Bianca.’ I thought it funny that it carries with it a girl’s name. Cute. It’s a pesto-based pizza with assorted seafood that includes small shrimps and oysters. I learned from a chef friend what pesto is. Basically, it’s a sauce cooked with basil, garlic, and olive oil; and that one of the ways you can mess with it is when there’s too much oil in it, like how this one particular restaurant served us some time ago. I think Bianca, the pizza, is amazing! Just be sure to adjust the taste to your liking with some Parmesan cheese and you should be fine.

I have not tried any of their desserts though, and that gives me a reason to go back there!

So all in all, I enjoyed my experience at Pasto. The ambiance inside is homey with all the red partnered with the tungsten lighting and a semi-overview of passers-by across their huge, glass windows. The only thing that got me icky is how I’d catch their staff staring or looking our way for most of the time, and we weren’t even noisy at that; but that may just be my problem! Haha.

My Ratings

Minimum Budget: Php 250.00
Am I gonna go back?

  • Definitely, I can eat here forever!
  • Yeah, I’m now a fan!
  • Yes, but not anytime soon.
  • Maybe, if someone treats me here!
  • No, I won’t ever be photographed here!

Outdoor view from ClickTheCity.com

Pasto Italian Café & Dessert Bar

G/F Theatre Mall, Greenhills Shopping Center
Greenhills, Ortigas Ave.
San Juan, Metro Manila
Philippines
(02) 722-4992
ClickTheCity.com link
MunchPunch.com link
OpenRice.com link

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